Egypt recalls Algiers envoy after soccer loss
Egypt recalled its ambassador from Algiers for consultations on Thursday after Egypt's soccer team lost to rival Algeria in a play-off to reach the World Cup finals, accusing its fans of post-match thuggery in Sudan, Reuters reported.
The move is the latest in a tit-for-tat spat between the North African countries about minor violence surrounding World Cup qualifying matches played on Saturday and Wednesday.
Egypt's state-run EGYNews website said Cairo was recalling its ambassador over violence against Egyptians after Wednesday's match that Egypt has blamed on Algerian fans.
Egypt's 2-0 win in Saturday's game in Cairo forced a Wednesday playoff at a neutral venue in Khartoum, the two sides having ended equal on points in qualifying Group C. Algeria won the tiebreaker 1-0.
Egypt, even before the Sudan playoff, had complained when Algerian fans trashed the Algiers headquarters of Egypt-based Orascom Telecom's
Egypt was further angered when Algerian tax authorities hit Djezzy with a $596.6 million bill for outstanding taxes.
Before that, Algeria was irked after Egyptian fans pelted the Algerian team's bus with stones and some fans were hurt in scuffles on game-day in the Cairo qualifier.
Egypt complained of Algerian violence against Egyptian fans on Wednesday and summoned the Algerian ambassador in Cairo to demand Algiers protect Egyptian citizens and assets in Algeria.
President Hosni Mubarak asked his foreign minister to summon the Algerian envoy to demand Algeria "bear its responsibility to protect Egyptian citizens present on its territory as well as its institutions and interests", state news agency MENA said.
Frustrated by accusations it had not looked after fans, Sudan summoned the Egyptian ambassador in Khartoum in protest.
"We really disagree with what was said in the media," Sudan's foreign ministry said in a statement.
"Instead of showing a little bit of appreciation to Sudan for accommodating more than 25,000 fans of the two teams at very short notice, the Egyptian media took a minor and isolated incident and used it as a chance to attack Sudan in a very unacceptable way," it added.